The Homeland Party (VP), an ultranationalist and racist political party aligned with the Turkish government, has submitted a petition to the chief public prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals seeking closure of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for its alleged threat to the unity of Turkey.
“The HDP is not qualified to function as a legitimate party since it has become the center of activities targeting the independence and unity of the country,” VP Deputy Chairman Nusret Senem told the press just before submitting the party’s petition on Dec. 25, 2018.
VP Chairman Doğu Perinçek, known for his staunch anti-Western stance, told the DHA news agency that the banning of the HDP was an obligation in Turkey’s war against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and that it would be a lawful act. Perinçek also noted that closure of the party was a patriotic duty.
Perinçek is the only party leader in Turkey to have visited jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who was running militant training camps in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley in 1991. Perinçek was welcomed by Öcalan, who greeted him with a special ceremony.
HDP deputy Garo Paylan responded on Halk TV that Perinçek was seeking to make a political splash by targeting the HDP.
The HDP is the most recently established party in the Kurdish political movement in Turkey since its predecessors were shut down by the state due to alleged links to the PKK.
This is the third closure petition filed by the VP in the last two years.